After my brief stay at Zaraysk, I moved on to a program I arranged in France. I organized a group of 10 amateur archaeologists from the US to participate in Upper Paleolithic research being conducted by Dr. Thierry Aubry and Bertrand Walter. The sites are outside of the small village of Bossay-sur-Claise, about half way between Tours and Poitier, and 20 kilometers east of Chatellerault. I selected this research for several reasons including my previous experience with Thierry and the two sites we worked on; Les Maitreaux and La Picardie. Les Maitreaux has been the location of previous work and has proven to be an amazing find. Thierry has posted a web site about this work, mostly in French, but with some English sections. Click here to see his site.
The brief time in Zaraysk helped me acclimate a bit to the weather we faced in France. I went from a high of +40 F on Zhokhov to +40 C in France! As it turned out, the two weeks we were digging (August 3-15) were the hottest on record in the past 100 years. Not to be daunted, we all adjusted our outlooks and forged ahead. The one great concession to the situation was we built shade shelters over both of the sites.